Paolo Maldini invited to continue tennis career after debut defeat

Italy and AC Milan legend Paolo Maldini has been invited to take part in more matches on the Italian tennis circuit after losing 6-1, 6-1 in his doubles debut on Tuesday.

Maldini, 49, qualified for the Aspria Tennis Cup with doubles partner Stefano Landonio, but they were beaten by former world No. 44 pairing Tomasz Bednarek and David Pel.

"We were in the best condition we could have been in, even if we do have a combined age of 100," Maldini told reporters.

"It was practically impossible to beat professionals. It's a unique occasion, but the strangest thing is that I have been contacted by other events in Italy, offering me a wild card."

But Maldini said he was unsure whether he would accept, adding: "It's still sport, and this is certainly one I don't excel in, but my partner and I qualified and this was an unrepeatable experience.

"This was never something we expected -- Stefano only asked me if I wanted to take part in a qualifier with him a few days before.

"I got the chance to play the sport that I love, which was football, successfully for 25 years. Life has been great for me. I love sport and I play to keep myself fine in the mind, because it helps there."